Norwich veteran Colin Thackery through to Britain’s Got Talent final

PUBLISHED: 22:01 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:10 30 May 2019

Norfolk's Colin Thackery appears on Britain's Got Talent (C) ITV

Norfolk's Colin Thackery appears on Britain's Got Talent (C) ITV


Norwich Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery has made it through to the final of Britain’s Got Talent.

The audience cheered Mr Thackery's name as he beat competition from two other acts to reach the final of the show, which will be held on Sunday, with the most public vote's from Wednesday's live semi-final.

The audience had to be told to quieten down as Mr Thackery could not hear presenters Ant and Dec.

Asked by Ant whether it had sunk in yet that he had won the semi-final, Mr Thackery said: "Just starting to sink in.

Mr Thackery, who used to live in Thorpe St Andrew, performed a song dedicated to his late wife Joan to secure his victory.

Colin Thackery and wife Joan  Picture: BGTColin Thackery and wife Joan Picture: BGT

The Korean war veteran, who now lives The Royal Hospital in London, has been singing since he was eight years old, but after he met his wife Joan - who he married in 1950 - he said they sang together.

Mr Thackery described meeting his wife at a camp dance and he said they enjoyed singing together all their lives before she died in December 2016.

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"We were like one person. I'm singing to her really," he said, before his performance of We'll Meet Again, which was released in 1939 and made famous by Vera Lynn.

Colin Thackery, 89, Norfolk's Chelsea Pensioner and Britain's Got Talent star (C) The Royal Hospital, ChelseaColin Thackery, 89, Norfolk's Chelsea Pensioner and Britain's Got Talent star (C) The Royal Hospital, Chelsea

The four judges gave Mr Thackery - and his Chelsea pensioner colleagues who joined him on stage - a standing ovation.

Judge Alesha Dixon said: "There's just something about you, you have won our hearts and I know everyone watching at home is in love right now."

While Amanda Holden added: "You and your colleagues, friends, are literally the backbone of this country, if it wasn't for you we wouldn't be here. I think if you've lost somebody that song is the song, isn't it?"

Show supremo Simon Cowell said: "That was bloody brilliant. What I really loved about that is it just reminds everybody what people like you did all those years ago and you're still standing and it was such a sincere performance."

He added: "Actually your voice was way better this time than it was in the first audition."

While David Walliams suggested Mr Thackery could go all the way and said: "For the first time this week I can honestly say I think we could be looking at the winner of Britain's Got Talent this year."

Before leaving the stage Mr Thackery, who was dressed in the full Scarlets, the uniform of the Chelsea Pensioners, with his service medals glinting under the lights, saluted Mr Cowell.

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